Waste not, want not
The problems associated with single-use plastic, intensive farming and greenhouse gasses are, rightly, making the headlines. So at Zenith we’re vowing to do what we can to make a difference.
We’re making a pledge to reduce, reuse and recycle plastic at the most elaborate time of year.
Here are five of our feel-good ways to minimise food waste that might inspire you to join our pledge.
1. Buy loose fruit and veg
Even before we’ve begun eating fresh fruit and vegetables, we have often generated waste products. Shrink wrapping, polybags, and plastic trays are used to package many fresh foods for retail, leading us to buy more than we actually need. Buying from market stalls or retailers that sell loose fruit and veg helps us to eliminate waste easily. If you can plan all your food needs a week ahead, you’ll end up only buying (and spending) exactly what you need.
2. Keep your cool
It’s surprising what foods can be frozen and this solution is perfect for foods about to go out of date. Fresh herbs, avocados, bananas and citrus fruits can all retain their nutrients when frozen. Foods with high fat content, such as double cream and Christmas brandy butter also freeze well for future use.
3. To compost or not to compost, that is the question
Food waste such as peelings, cores and stems from most Christmas dinner vegetables can be added to the compost, as well as eggshells if you’re making meringues or Yorkshire puddings. Avoid putting cooked foods into your compost or scraps from meat, dairy, fish and egg.
If you have room, Christmas trees can be composted if chopped up or shredded.
Check locally for tree recycling schemes. Some local groups collect and recycle trees for a charity donation. Remember to remove all decorations and any pots or stands before placing your tree outside for recycling.
4. Donate at food banks
Christmas is a time for compassion and for giving, so make sure you get involved – but why stop after the festive season? There are over 1,200 food bank centres across Britain (Trusselltrust.org). You can donate non-perishable, in-date food via your local food bank or supermarket collection point. Visit trusseltrust.org to find your nearest drop-off point.
5. Save a fin, use a tin!
Plastics account for 75% of marine litter and the microplastic fragments that break off have been identified in commercial fish consumed by humans (PlasticOceans.co.uk). So, by considering tinned foods rather than those sold in plastic pouches, cartons or bags we’re helping to reduce the amount of single-use plastic in production. Tinned custard is a good place to start at Christmas. Be sure to wash and recycle empty tins!